Football

Dara O'Cinneide's intriguing Kerry defence analysis

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

05:18 29 Mar 2019


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This Sunday, Kerry and Mayo will look to give themselves a boost heading into the summer.

The counties do battle at Croke Park in the Allianz Football League final and it's an intriguing match-up.

It's a first chance for silverware in James Horan's second spell in charge of Mayo.

But this exciting young Kerry side are also drawing plenty of attention.

And their defence is especially interesting.

Former Kerry All-Ireland winner Dara O'Cinneide joined us to preview this weekend's league finals and he had some interesting thoughts on the Kingdom defensive unit.

Energised

"Yes, the stats will tell you that they're defending better. Your two eyes and ears will tell you that they're probably working that bit harder," he said.

"It's been a hallmark of Peter Keane's years in the minor grade for example and Tommy Griffin would've put an awful lot of work in as well.

"They did perfect the art of swarming in twos and threes and stripping possession quite legitimately. And they were very, very good at that at minor level. But the [seniors] are certainly more energised."

He also believes the tackle counts have "gone up an awful lot" in this campaign. However, he is not as sure if Kerry have found better defenders individually.

"Have they become better defenders? Have they found better defenders? I'm not convinced. I think what we have is a lot of similar style defenders and excellent footballers. They love to bomb forward," he said.

"They are certainly working harder. The stats look like Kerry are better defensively. But they still have an awful lot of players that like attacking. Your lingering suspicion is that maybe they don't like defending. We're not sure yet."

O'Cinneide also previewed the other league finals taking place this weekend. You can watch the full preview above via our YouTube channel.

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